Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Light, is observed every year to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. Households display lights on rooftops, doorways, temples and in windows and partake of a family feast that includes mithai (sweets) and gifts. Delicious Gulab Jamun is a deep fried, syrupy dumpling with a delicate rose water flavour and totally moorish, so eat if you dare!

Tip: For best result use full fat milk powder



Gulab Jamuns

  • ½ c full fat milk powder
  • 1½ tsp all purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp fine semolina
  • 1 Tbsp ghee
  • A pinch of baking soda x 2
  • 1½ tsp yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Optional: A few piece of sweet Elaichi Dana
    Blanched pistachio or almond slices for garnishing

Sugar Syrup

  • 2 c water
  • 1½ c sugar
  • 3-4 green cardamoms, husked & crushed or powdered
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp rose water


  1. Sieve milk powder, plain flour, fine semolina and baking soda ingredients into large mixing bowl. To smaller mixing bowl add yogurt, baking soda and ghee. Transfer wet ingredients to large bowl and combine lightly to make sticky dough.
  2. Gradually mix dough into crumbs then gather dough together gently letting air bubbles form until well combined. Pinch small portions and roll into a small ball the size of a walnut. Ensure balls are smooth and crack free otherwise they will open during the frying process. If using elaichi dana, place in the middle of the flat dough and bring sides around it, before rolling into a ball. Put aside.
  3. Make sugar syrup by adding sugar, water and crushed cardamom pods to saucepan. Heat over low flame and stir for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add rose essence. Syrup needs to be warm when adding fried Gulab Jamuns.
  4. Heat oil in deep fryer or frying pan to 180°C to 190°C. Test with thermometer or by dropping in a tiny piece of dough. If oil begins to sizzle around dough, oil is ready to fry. If oil is too hot the Gulab Jamuns will overcook on the outside.
  5. Drop balls in one at a time, keeping space between the balls. Turn frequently with slotted spoon until balls are golden brown all over. Remove with slotted spoon and place on plate covered with paper towels to remove excess oil for about 6 seconds.
  6. Transfer balls to warm sugar syrup. Rest in syrup for at least 1 hour before serving. Balls will be soft and melt in the mouth.

Garnish with nuts and serve on their own warm, cold or chilled or with your favourite ice-cream.

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